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UNESCO declares Peru’s Chankillo of Áncash a World Heritage Site

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – UNESCO this Tuesday (27) announced its decision to include in the World Heritage List the Chankillo solar observatory and ceremonial center, located on the Peru coast of Áncash.

UNESCO’s 44th session of the World Heritage Committee – based in the southeastern Chinese city of Fuzhou, although it is mostly held online – approved the Peruvian candidacy thus becoming the country’s 13th entry on the list.

Researchers believe that direct astronomical observations were conducted in Chankillo between 500 and 200 B.C. (Photo internet reproduction)

Researchers believe that direct astronomical observations were made at the Chankillo archaeological complex between 500 and 200 B.C., following the annual motion of the sun to adjust religious festivities and other seasonal events.

Located near the coast, about 365 kilometers north of Lima, the observatory is spread over 3 sections covering some 4 km2 with 13 towers, a circular temple and a plaza, built of soil and mud.

The members of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee met in China and together with Chankillo assessed the nominations of the Roberto Burle Marx site in Brazil and the Estación Atlántida church in Uruguay.

All these proposals had been pending since 2020, when UNESCO was forced to cancel its annual meeting due to global health concerns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Unique worldwide”

Peruvian authorities emphasize that Chankillo is “unique worldwide” because, unlike other ancient observatories, the complex in Áncash covered the full annual solar cycle.

To date, Peru had 12 sites recognized on the World Heritage List.

The first to be included in the list were the City of Cuzco and the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, both in 1983, and the last to enter was the Andean Qhapaq Ñan road system (2014), a candidacy shared with other countries in the region.

Source: RPP

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